The High Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) today. The decision was celebrated by tweets and bloggers who are again announcing that those who support natural marriage are on the “wrong side of history.” Public opinion on the issue of gay marriage is changing, no doubt aided by the overwhelming media bias. Unless some drastic awakening occurs in our country, gay marriage will likely be the law of the land within a decade or two. So, am I on the “wrong side of history”? If the purpose of marriage is to fulfill the desire of adults, then I most assuredly am. But, if there is a purpose to marriage outside of what the individual adults want, then best not bend to the un-American identity politics of our day and stand for right, however unpopular.
Two (or three or four for that matter) individuals may share love, finances, or similar interests. Good for them. Those are private matters that impact the individuals involved, whatever gender they may be. So, what business does government have in marriage? Why do we promote and incentivize the natural marriage relationship above others?
One powerful group of citizens answered the question this way:
…at bottom, civil society has an interest in maintaining and protecting the institution of heterosexual marriage because it has a deep and abiding interest in encouraging responsible procreation and child-rearing. Simply put, government has an interest in marriage because it has an interest in children. (That powerful group was the US Congress, when DOMA was enacted in 1996.)
Legal expert Austin Nimricks puts it this way,
…marriage laws stem from the fact that children are the natural product of sexual relationships between men and women, and that both fathers and mothers are viewed to be necessary and important for children. Thus, throughout history, diverse cultures and faiths have recognized marriage between one man and one woman as the best way to promote healthy families and societies.
According to history, biology, the best social science available, and above all reason, children do not just need “role models,” or “guardians,” or even just “parents.” Every child was conceived by, desires to be known by, and has a right to their mother and father. Children are incapable of protecting their own rights. That is the purview of adults. It is one of the few things our elected officials are supposed to do. Marriage has always been the vehicle by which society recognized and protected the permanence of the parent/child relationship. Without DOMA, how do you propose that we do that?
So, what has changed in our society in the 17 years since DOMA came into existence? Here are the options:
A) Government no longer has a deep and abiding interest in encouraging responsible procreation and child-rearing.
B) Children are no longer the natural product of sexual relationships between men and women.
C) Both fathers and mothers are no longer necessary or important for children.
D) None of the above.
If the answer is D, then it is not those who support natural marriage who are wrong. Rather, what’s wrong is our new chapter of history.
For more on children’s rights and why mothers and fathers matter, see Chapter Next, You’re Only Against Gay Marriage Because Of Your Religion, and Moms and Dads Parent Differently.